President Proposes $12.6 Billion for the Department of the Interior’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget

Budget focuses on investments in creating jobs and economic growth, natural resources conservation, enhancing safety and security, promoting healthy forests and rangelands, increasing energy security, and rebuilding infrastructure.

Last edited 03/11/2019

Date: March 11, 2019


WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump proposed a $12.6 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget for the Department of the Interior that invests in programs supporting good-paying American jobs, common-sense regulatory reforms, expanding opportunities for our outdoor recreation economy, and increasing revenue to states, Tribes and local communities. 

The budget reflects the President’s commitment to striking the right balance of conservation and sustainable use of resources in a way that provides proper stewardship of our land and resources, conserves and makes accessible our public lands, enhances the safety of our communities, increases energy security and allows America to prosper. Importantly, the President’s proposed FY 2020 budget for the Department of the Interior also includes two significant legislative proposals: Active Forest Health Management and the Public Lands Infrastructure Fund. Highlights of the DOI FY 2020 budget are available for download. 

“President Trump’s 2020 budget request is an effort to restore fiscal sanity in Washington," said Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. "In doing so, the Department of the Interior’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request strikes a reasonable balance and includes several important legislative proposals to address longstanding problems like the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog. The FY 2020 budget proposal continues to ensure we are focused on providing public access to the American People, creating jobs and economic growth, protecting our natural and cultural resources, enhancing safety and security, promoting healthy working rangelands, increasing energy security, and restoring infrastructure.”

The Department of the Interior touches the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and plays an active role in American communities and the national economy through its oversight of one-fifth of the nation’s land and the entire Outer Continental Shelf. The Department is charged with conservation of wildlife and habitat, maintaining access for recreation, overseeing energy development on federal lands and waters, grazing allotments and timber sales, water conservation and delivery, providing scientific and technical information to the Nation, and upholding Tribal trust responsibilities.

The FY 2020 budget continues the Administration’s focus on the following priorities:

Economic Growth and Prosperity

  • The 2020 budget continues to advance economic growth through energy development on federal lands and water and includes $830.1 million to encourage the safe development of offshore and onshore oil and gas, coal, and renewable energy, and the strong management of associated revenue on behalf of taxpayers.
  • The 2020 budget includes $107.2 million for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) programs to support timber sales and forest management projects. The request supports an estimated 280 million board feet in timber sales in 2021.
  • The 2020 budget includes $30.3 million for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for critical minerals research and data collection, supporting Executive Order 13817, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals” to provide the advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data needed to locate U.S. critical mineral resources reduce dependence on foreign sources, and support job creation and technological innovation.
  • The 2020 budget includes $777.0 million in discretionary funds for energy-related programs across the Department. Together with permit fees and other mandatory funding, Interior’s 2020 energy programs total $830.1 million. These programs help generate some of the federal government’s highest non-tax revenues, benefitting local communities and the U.S. Treasury.
  • The 2020 request includes a total of $393.9 million to support responsible exploration and development of America’s offshore energy resources, which remains a pillar of the Administration’s energy strategy.
    • Within this request is $193.4 million for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) oil, gas, and renewable energy leasing and exploration activities. The request supports preparation of the nation’s next five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing program.
  • The 2020 budget includes $27.7 million to advance offshore renewable energy development.


  • The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) budget includes $95.0 million for species recovery and $26.4 million for a range of at-risk species and habitat specific conservation and restoration programs to prevent the need for listing.
  • The FWS budget includes $67.8 million for Habitat Conservation, featuring $54.4 million for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program which leverages the federal investment and supports local conservation efforts.
  • The NPS budget includes $321.6 million for stewardship of natural and cultural resources across the national park system to maintain the natural beauty and historical significance of this renowned network of special places.
  • The BLM budget includes $7 million to continue support for Migration Corridor partnerships. The budget includes a total of $18 million across Interior for this work.
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) budget includes $184.1 million for Tribal natural resource programs supporting resource conservation, economic use, recreation, and protection of Tribal resource rights. Within this amount, $11.2 million supports the Tribal Management/Development Program for Tribal management of fish and game programs on Indian reservations.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) budget has $5.1 million in Reclamation for work with other federal and state partners to proactively stop the spread of invasive mussels in the West, including preventing the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into the Columbia River Basin.
  • The 2020 budget includes $40.0 million for North American Wetlands Conservation grants, which support projects to improve the health of wetlands, migratory birds, and nearby water quality.
  • The 2020 budget includes $31.3 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants supporting state and tribal projects to benefit non-game and their habitats through planning and restoration.

Regulatory Reform

  • The 2020 budget includes $19.8 million for the Bureau of Land Management coal management program focused on reducing permit processing times, simplifying the lease application process, and improving the timeliness to complete lease sale fair market value determinations.
  • The 2020 budget advances oil and gas activities in Alaska and New Mexico and continues work to streamline leasing processes and speed the review of Applications for Permits to Drill, as well as processing of rights-of-way permits needed to move energy to end-users.

Expanding Recreation & Access to Grow the Outdoor Economy

  • The 2020 budget includes roughly $970.9 million for recreation and public access programs to increase the public’s enjoyment of these vast resources.
  • The 2020 National Park Service budget request expands outdoor recreation opportunities with $10.0 million to provide fishing programs for youth and other novice anglers, improvements to recreational related infrastructure and resources, and coordination with state, local, business, and non-profit stakeholders to increase access to outdoor recreation.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service budget includes $9.1 million to improve trails, open new areas to hunting, fishing and various recreation activities, increase awareness through updated websites and recreation maps, and deliver engaging environmental education programs.
  • The 2020 budget continues to support the National Park Service State Land and Water Conservation Fund grants program which encourages outdoor recreation and land conservation at the State and local levels. The 2020 budget estimates $113.1 million will be available for these grants through revenue from offshore oil and gas sales in certain areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rebuilding Infrastructure

  • Continuing the Administration’s commitment to infrastructure, the 2020 budget prioritizes investments in Interior’s infrastructure with $1.5 billion requested for infrastructure maintenance and construction. This includes $639.8 million in current funding for National Park Service construction and deferred maintenance projects.
  • The 2020 budget includes $107.5 million for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s planning and consultation activities, including reviews required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act to prevent delays in federal infrastructure projects.

Safety and Security

  • The Interior Department is home to 4,000 Federal law enforcement officers who patrol the border, protect our communities, make Bureau of Indian Education schools safe places to learn, and keep the peace. Our law enforcement officers have removed millions of dollars’ worth of opioids and other drugs from our communities, locked up drug dealers and criminals, and saved lives.
  • To build on those successes, the 2020 budget includes a total of $930.3 million for law enforcement programs, expands successful border enforcement and drug enforcement programs, and supports a new initiative to address the epidemic of violence and missing persons in Indian Country. The 2020 budget for law enforcement includes $10.0 million to continue the Bureau of Indian Affairs' successful efforts as part of the federal Opioid Reduction Task Force.

Legislative Priorities

  • Forest Health: The 2018 fire season was deadly and destructive affecting scores of lives and enormous damage to property. Catastrophic fires burned millions of acres of wildland and nearby communities and did long-term damage to ecosystems across the West. In tandem with the Budget, the Administration is proposing a package of legislative reforms to proactively reduce the risk of wildfires through better management of federal forests and rangelands. Supporting Executive Order 13855 and the Administration’s commitment to active management is $194 million in Wildland Fire Management for aggressive fuels reduction work and pre-suppression activities to help mitigate the incidence of catastrophic wildfires and $9.5 million to restore Interior and Tribal lands, post-wildfire.
    • The 2020 budget includes $919.9 million for the Wildland Fire Management programs. This includes $383.7 million for wildfire suppression, consistent with requirements in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, making additional disaster funding available in the event of an extreme wildfire season. The budget allocates $300.0 million to Interior as a preliminary split of overall available cap adjustment funds.
    • $107.2 million for timber management programs in the BLM to prioritize planning and preparation activities affecting timber sales volumes and forest health.
    • $54.8 million for BIA Tribal forestry programs.
    • In addition, the BLM budget includes $92.0 million to support healthy rangelands through weed reduction, vegetation treatments and permitted grazing operations.
    • The National Park Service budget includes $4.0 million specifically to improve active forest and vegetation management in the national parks.
    • Complementing this initiative, Interior continues to work closely with partners to improve the sage-steppe working landscapes of the West which are severely impacted by wildland fires. The 2020 budget includes $55.5 million to implement sage-grouse management plans and continue cooperation with Western States on Greater Sage-Grouse conservation.
  • Public Lands Infrastructure Fund (Fund): The 2020 budget proposes to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund to ensure a long-term investment in infrastructure on America’s public lands. The legislation sets aside up to $1.3 billion a year, capped at $6.5 billion over 5 years, from 50 percent of energy development revenue that would otherwise be credited or deposited as miscellaneous receipts to the Treasury. Within Interior, The Fund would be available for infrastructure needs in the national parks, national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Bureau Highlights:

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - The 2020 budget includes a total of $1.3 billion for the Fish and Wildlife Service, including $510.0 million for the National Wildlife Refuge System. The budget emphasizes proactive species recovery programs and leveraged partnerships to accomplish habitat and wildlife conservation.

  • The 2020 budget includes $239.4 million for wildlife and habitat management programs across the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 70 national fish hatcheries also contribute to the FWS mission to conserve, restore and enhance aquatic species. The budget includes $155.6 million for Fish and Aquatic Conservation programs to support these hatcheries, address fish health, habitat, and species conservation. This funding also includes $16.1 million to fight aquatic invasive species.

National Park Service (NPS) - The 2020 budget includes a total of $2.7 billion for the National Park Service, with $2.4 billion for national park operations, including $321.6 million for natural and cultural resource stewardship, $237.1 million for visitor services to support volunteer services, interpretation and education, and management of park visitor centers and concession operations, $393.5 million for deferred maintenance projects, and $362.0 million to protect the health and safety of visitors and employees.

  • $246.3 million for construction, including $160.1 million for projects at iconic places such as Statue of Liberty National Monument, Acadia National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Devil's Tower National Monument.
  • The budget also includes funding to promote public-private partnerships that leverage private funding for the benefit of the national park system, support States, U.S. territories, and Tribes under the Historic Preservation Act, and promote land conservation and recreational access on State and Federal lands through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - The 2020 budget includes a total of $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Land Management, with $1.1 billion for land management operations. The budget includes:

  • $75.7 million to continue management of wild horses and burros on America’s rangelands.
  • $190.3 million in current and permanent funding for oil and gas activities, of which $137.3 million is requested in direct appropriations.
  • $29.1 million to support the review and siting of geothermal resources, wind and solar energy projects on public lands, and rights-of-way applications to connect these projects to transmission lines.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - The 2020 budget includes a total of $983.5 million, with $179.9 million for Water Resources programs to monitor, understand, and inform water challenges for the benefit of land and wildlife conservation, and communities across the country.

  • $141.0 million for scientific work related to ecosystems, supporting investigations related to specific ecosystems, such as Florida’s Everglades; or biological threats to species, including White Nose Syndrome affecting bats.
  • $145.0 million for the Natural Hazards programs
  • $86.0 million for Energy and Minerals programs

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) – The 2020 budget includes a total of $1.9 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with $1.5 billion for primary operations and services. The BIA budget includes:

  • $285.9 million to fully fund the estimated contract support costs Tribes incur from managing federal Indian programs.
  • $409.2 million for BIA’s Public Safety and Justice programs providing law enforcement, corrections, and court services to Indian communities.
  • $25.5 million for energy and mineral development programs in Tribal communities.
  • $45.6 million for BIA’s water rights settlements implementation, providing a total of $178.6 million for water rights settlement implementation across Interior.

Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) – The 2020 budget includes a total of $936.3 million for the Bureau of Indian Education. The 2020 budget acknowledges the distinct and separate responsibilities of the BIA and BIE by presenting the BIE budget request separately from the BIA budget. The budget will advance BIE reform, provide autonomy and accountability, streamline services, and build capacity. The 2020 budget includes:

  • $867.4 million to continue core Indian education programs, including $81.5 million to fully fund Tribal Grant Support Costs for Tribes choosing to operate BIE-funded schools.
  • $68.9 million to support facility repairs, deferred maintenance, and capital improvements at existing schools

Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) - The 2020 budget includes $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation’s water resource programs to ensure millions of customers continue to receive the water and power essential for daily life, healthy local economies, and resource management. The 2020 budget includes:

  • $92.8 million for Dam Safety
  • $36.4 million for Site Security activities
  • $19.9 million for WaterSMART, including water conservation grants and Title XVI water recycling reuse research grants supporting local innovation to stretch water supplies
  • $27.8 million for Rural Water projects
  • $1.3 million to incentivize research through Reclamation Water and Power Technology Prize Competitions

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – The 2020 budget totals $193.4 million including offsetting collections, for offshore oil, gas, and renewable energy activities to continue President Trump’s winning investment in America’s energy security.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – The 2020 budget includes $200.5 million for offshore safety and environmental enforcement programs.

Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) - The 2020 budget includes $465.0 million in direct appropriations to support these payments.

Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) - The 2020 budget includes a total of $610.7 million in current and permanent authority, with $84.1 million in current appropriations.

Office of the Special Trustee (OST) – The 2020 budget includes $105.1 million to maintain strong stewardship of fiduciary Indian trust assets.

DOI Reorganization – The 2020 budget includes $27.6 million to continue to implement reorganization efforts in BLM, FWS, NPS, USGS, and BOR. These funds will support the 12 new Unified Regions, relocation of some bureau staff and functions, and modernization of Interior’s business operations.


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